Fulton County seeks new historian

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County will be seeking a new historian following the resignation Thursday of former County Historian Peter C. Betz.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Monday that Betz submitted a one-sentence resignation letter to the Board of Supervisors office.

He previously indicated he planned to resign to spend more time with his family.

Betz couldn’t be reached this morning for comment.

Betz, who has worked at the part-time historian post since 2006, had a petit larceny charge against him adjourned in contemplation of dismissal last week in City Court. The adjournment essentially means if Betz stays out of trouble for the next six months, he will face no penalty for the offense.

Betz, 70, of 178 Noonan Road, Perth, was charged by Johnstown police May 7 with misdemeanor petit larceny. Police said Betz stole a commercial Keurig coffee maker from the Fulton County Office Building and replaced it with another one. Police say the theft of the $125 item occurred in the grand jury room in the building’s basement April 9. That room is down the hall from the historian’s office.

After his arrest, the county suspended Betz from his position. Betz, who was appointed to the post in January 2006, was budgeted to be paid $6,134 this year.

Stead said the board’s Economic Development and Environment Committee meets Aug. 27 to “begin the process” to replacement Betz.

Gloversville 3rd Ward Supervisor Michael F. Gendron, committee chairman, said today he couldn’t comment on Betz’s tenure with the county or the effort to find his replacement because he hasn’t yet seen the resignation letter.

“I haven’t seen or read his resignation letter,” Gendron said. “I’d be very interested in his letter, from a historical perspective.”

Board Chairman William Waldron said today the search begins with the next Economic Development and Environment Committee meeting.

“It’s like any other director’s position we have in the county,” Waldron said. “We have to have someone.”

Waldron said Betz has done a good job the last seven years for the county.

“I think Peter did an excellent service for the county,” he said. “For what the position paid, he was an extremely dedicated individual. He did a wonderful job.”